Short answer, Yes. Why? Well if they don’t, all hell might break lose in New Orleans. The Saints could fall 3 games behind the Falcons, 3 weeks into the season if they can’t pull out a victory here, so this is about as close as a must win game in September as you will see. The key, stopping the Chiefs offense. Which doesn’t sound terribly difficult, but New Orleans has struggled to stop anyone. The injuries are catching up to them, as well as the distractions of a tumultuous offseason. New coach Steve Spagnuolo has yet to show his strong defensive mindset that he brought to New York, and looks more like the 2-14 coach of the Rams team he led last year.
That is a concern, but this isn’t the same offense we have seen the last two weeks. Cassel isn’t likely to put up the numbers the last two QBs did against the Saints. The ball is going to be in the running backs hands much more often, so that is the key. This isn’t the best strategy to beat the Saints, but that is how the Chiefs are built. So for that reason, I think New Orleans is at an extreme advantage.
The Chiefs defense has struggled in the early going, which is more bad news for them with the high powered Saints offense coming for them. Brees hasn’t looked as polished as he has in the past, but he is still very capable of putting up points. Marques Colston is questionable, but Devery Henderson is probable. I think the likely scenario is that both play, and Brees spreads the ball all over the field which is does so well. The running game may be the best it has been since the days of Deuce McAllister. Pierre Thomas had an incredibly impressive performance against the Panthers, and should be the leading rusher in this game. Ingram figures to work a lot in the red zone while Darren Sproles continues to work in his receiver’s role. This has been the formula thus far, which hasn’t worked perfectly. Still, they have to give it time and not abandon their strategy. I think this is the week that they finally bust out into the win column, and they do so in a big way. Saints win this game 35-20.